2007 - 2009 Biennium Strategic Plan Budget Submittal


This document is provided for archival purposes only. Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.


Published: September 1, 2006

Pages: 49


Working Toward our Vision

2007 - 2009 Strategic Direction

Washington state citizens rely on the Department of Fish and Wildlife to protect and sustain fish and wildlife resources and support the Northwest way of life that so many of us treasure. We hold this public trust in high esteem and strive to meet the challenges that put our focus on fish and wildlife protection and sustainability to the test. We understand that without abundant populations of fish and wildlife, the quality of life in our region would be seriously compromised.

During the 2007-09 biennium, the Department will work to stabilize the foundation we need to realize our vision and fulfill our mission. We will maintain and build the public assets we are entrusted with and eliminate liabilities that drain our financial resources. We will identify, seek funding and begin to fix ailing facilities and infrastructure that are crucial to our mission. We will focus on developing partnerships with other agencies and organizations, tribes and citizens that make us effective and efficient in our operations. We will educate youth and adults to foster a stewardship ethic toward fish and wildlife. We will seek policy support and stable funding to manage the increased demands being placed on fish and wildlife resources in the State. 10

The following six goals will support the strategic direction needed to meet our mission.

Goal I - Fish and Wildlife: Achieve healthy, diverse and sustainable fish and wildlife populations and their supporting habitats.

The fish and wildlife goal incorporates applied science with technical assistance, outreach, enforcement and volunteers to ensure that fish and wildlife resources are abundant. Through the use of best available science and technology, employees will work to protect and restore needed habitat and healthy species. We will reach out to maintain and develop volunteer opportunities for citizen stewardship to help fulfill the Fish and Wildlife mission. Our accredited and professional enforcement program will ensure compliance with resource regulations and be a reassuring presence in the communities we serve. Fish and wildlife protection and preservation is at the core of everything we do.

Goal II - Public Benefit: Ensure sustainable fish and wildlife opportunities for social and economic benefit.

Playing in the outdoors is the way of life in the Northwest. Department employees work daily to develop new and maintain existing recreational opportunities for Washington citizens and visitors. Department of Fish and Wildlife employees know their work because they live their work. They have the skills and abilities to protect the resource and the spirit to use and enjoy it. These attributes are the backbone of the Fish and Wildlife workforce. They are the foundation for providing public opportunity. During the 2007-09 biennium, we will inventory existing access sites to request resources for upgrades and new opportunities for fishing and watchable wildlife viewing. We will seek policy and funding support from the Governor and Legislature for incentives that provide access to private lands to increase hunting opportunity. We will improve the economic health of local communities by designing and marketing fish and wildlife opportunities such as lowland lake and salmon fishing, clam digging and wildlife viewing.

Goal III - Funding: Ensure effective use of current and future financial resources in order to meet the needs of the states fish and wildlife resource for the benefit of the public.

A stable funding source for agency operations is crucial to meeting our mission. The agency relies on the Wildlife account for 20% of operating costs. The Wildlife account is unstable because it depends on fishing and hunting license sales. As times change and resource abundance â€" and opportunity - is threatened by loss of habitat, Fish and Wildlife must find a more reliable source of funding to sustain abundant populations. Thorough research into how other states fund sustainable resource management could result in new recommendations for future funding consideration. The agency will need a committed constituent base to help with this challenge.

Goal IV - Competence: Implement processes that produce sound and professional decisions, cultivate public involvement and build public confidence and agency credibility.

Our skilled and dedicated workforce provides resource management opportunities unmatched in State government. Federal, local and other state agencies receive technical support from Department technical staff on a regular basis. Citizens rely on our expert staff for important permitting and project technical assistance and decisions. Employees love the work they do and take pride in managing the fish and wildlife resource.

The struggle to manage fish and wildlife resources competently has never been more apparent as funding sources are decreasing and workload is increasing. To address these complexities, we are re-building the agency foundation through strategic planning, priority setting and performance accountability. We will develop operation and maintenance standards that set expectations for completed staff work and cross-program leadership. And we will use technology to provide better customer service and diverse opportunities for the public to enjoy the fish and wildlife resource.

The agency workforce is walking the road to retirement in large numbers. In order to maintain consistency in the competence of our workforce, we will focus on recruiting new employees who are inspired by our resource management direction. We will provide focused training and career building opportunities that create the next generation of agency leaders and build the skills of our senior employees. And, we will hold all employees to the highest standards of performance and accountability.

Goal V - Science: Promote development and responsible use of sound, objective science to inform decision-making.

The Department uses science on a daily basis to manage fish and wildlife resources. We use research and apply credible scientific principles and actions to help others make important resource management decisions. The science we strive to employ is based on the principle of biodiversity - that is managing for diverse species common to and within one geographic area. Over the next few years we will be developing a Wildlife Action Plan that will use biodiversity science to maximize benefits for species living on wildlife area lands. In addition, at the local watershed level, we will be using a model developed by staff to integrate habitat, harvest, hatchery and hydropower, the 4 "H's," to help recover our Northwest icon: the salmon. This action alone, implemented at the watershed level, is a powerful tool to use to sustain the salmon resource.

Goal VI - Employees: Create an agency environment that nurtures professionalism, accountability, enthusiasm, and dedication in order to attract, develop, and retain a workforce that can successfully carry out the mandate of the agency.

As stated earlier, Department of Fish and Wildlife employees know their work because they live their work. They have the skills and abilities to protect the resource and the spirit to use and enjoy it. These attributes are the backbone of the Fish and Wildlife workforce. The Department of Fish and Wildlife employees are also reaching retirement age in record numbers, a trend that is creating change. The Department will manage this change by including strategic activities and performance measures each employee's work plan. Individual work plans will be directly aligned with the agency's strategic plan. Communications between Department headquarters in Olympia and the Regional offices will increase as all programs reach out to their field staff on a more frequent basis. Wellness programs have been developed and will be continually offered to all staff to help establish positive personal habits and a healthy home/work lifestyle balance. Training programs on the benefits of participating in a performance-based workplace will be developed.